Law & Policy

People For the American Way

Releases Year-End Statement on

Senate Judicial Nominations

WASHINGTON D.C. – 12/21/2023 As the Senate leaves for the holiday break with a total of 166 confirmed judges, including this week’s confirmations of former Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation Sara E. Hill and former federal prosecutor John D. Russell for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, People For the American way President Svante Myrick released the following statement:

People For the American Way commends President Joe Biden and the Senate, under the leadership of Majority Leader Schumer and Senate Judiciary Chair Durbin, for the tremendous progress made in filling the federal bench with highly qualified and fair-minded judges, who reflect the rich diversity of this country. Biden’s appointed judges bring brilliance and credentialed experiences to the federal bench, and with strong records of commitment to protecting the civil and human rights of all of the people in America, they will ensure equality and justice for all.
It is urgent that the Senate, when it returns in January, prioritize the confirmation of the more than 30 outstanding judicial nominees that will still be awaiting action, including Nicole Berner who will be the first openly LGBTQ+ person ever on the Fourth Circuit and Adeel Mangi who will be the nation’s first Muslim American federal appellate court judge.
We expect the Senate to prioritize judicial nominations, to process nominees put forward by the White House, and to clear the calendar of nominees awaiting confirmations to fill court vacancies and repair our courts. Time is of the essence.”

About People For the American Way 

People For the American Way, a national progressive advocacy organization, inspires and mobilizes community and cultural leaders to advance Truth, Justice and the American Way. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org

World Affairs

Israel and the Occupied 

Palestinian Territories

 Background For a Better Understanding of the Situation

12/10/2023

ACADEMIC ARTICLE: Zionist hegemony, the settler colonial conquest of Palestine and the problem with conflict: A critical genealogy of the notion of binary conflict. (By Anne de Jong, May 3/2017; Taylor & Francis Online)

ABSTRACT: Describing the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a ‘binary conflict’ is taken as a value-free and academically neutral depiction. This article challenges the objective nature of the notion of binary conflict. Contributing to scholarship that prioritizes subjugated knowledge, this article poses that the depiction of the situation entirely in terms of conflict – and the rigid alterity that such a perspective tacitly transmits – should be recognized as a paradigm with an inherently Zionist bias. A genealogy of the notion of conflict shows how early Zionist leaders consciously advocated a framework of binary conflict in order to counter accusations of settler colonialism and garner the support of non-Zionist Jews and other potential allies. This exposition draws out how the notion of binary conflict is instrumental in obscuring settler colonial dispossession and Palestinian lived experience; in forging the hegemonic unification of Zionist Jews; and in negating critique from third-party others. An understanding of how this perception of Israel–Palestine came about offers fresh insight into the strategies adopted by the early Zionist movement. Furthermore, acknowledging the power-nexus behind the binary conflict perspective has the potential to deepen our understanding of the discursive and oppressive mechanisms of contemporary settler colonialism. 

Link: Zionist hegemony

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BOOK REVIEW: Inventing the new antisemitism. Book review written by Em Hilton; Book -- "Whatever Happened to Antisemitism?: Redefinition and the Myth of the 'Collective Jew," by author Antony Lerman; Pluto Press, June 2022, pp 336)

INTRO: Israel and its acolytes have long pushed the agenda that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Jewish racism. A new book shows how this endeavor came at the expense of Palestinians and diaspora Jews alike.

EXERPT: We are living through a particularly troubling moment in the global struggle against antisemitism. Amid resurgent right-wing authoritarianism, antisemitic conspiracy theories are being deployed as the basis of electoral campaigns all over the world; violent attacks on Jews in Europe show no signs of decreasing, going hand-in-hand with attacks on other minoritized communities; and in the United States, the masks continue to fall from white nationalist politicians, while public figures with enormous platforms profess their support for Nazism . . . . Yet, all the while, public understanding of what constitutes antisemitism is more muddied than ever. Accusations of antisemitism are regularly rolled out to silence critics of Israel — very often by Israel itself — and to attack any form of Palestine advocacy as being solely motivated by anti-Jewish racism. In the U.K., this politicization of antisemitism, manifesting in large part as a battle of definitions, has reduced the once intellectually rigorous pursuit of understanding how antisemitism manifests to a political football and tedious identity politics.

Link: Inventing the New Antisemitism

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Statement Regarding US Veto of a UN Ceasefire Resolution Israel/OPT: US veto of ceasefire resolution displays callous disregard for civilian suffering in face of staggering death toll

Reacting to the United States (US) veto of a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agn├Ęs Callamard said:

“By vetoing this resolution, the US has displayed a callous disregard for civilian suffering in the face of a staggering death toll, extensive destruction and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe happening in the occupied Gaza Strip.

“The US has brazenly wielded and weaponized its veto to strongarm the UN Security Council, further undermining its credibility and ability to live up to its mandate to maintain international peace and security.

 
“There can be no justification for continuing to block meaningful action by the UN Security Council to stop massive civilian bloodshed. The use of the veto is morally indefensible and a dereliction of the US duty to prevent atrocity crimes and uphold international law. 

“On top of blocking the adoption of a ceasefire that would end mass humanitarian suffering in Gaza, aid the return of hostages, and calm tension multiplying in the region, the US continues to transfer US-made munitions to the government of Israel that contribute to the decimation of entire families. 

“As the only state to veto, it’s clear the US stands isolated from much of world, and a large portion of its own population. It is displaying a complete absence of global leadership and failing to understand the historical significance of the moment.

“The US purports to champion a rules-based international order, however its brazen double standards and disregard for international law has repercussions that extend well beyond the horrific catastrophe in Gaza, weakening the already enfeebled international system for protecting civilians in conflict."

Link: Amnesty statement

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ARTICLE BY BRANKO MARCETIC: A Tidal Wave of State and Private Repression Is Targeting Pro-Palestinian Voices

Critics of Israel's merciless war on Gaza are facing threats of government persecution and blacklists or firings. In this neo-McCarthist environment, anything pro-Palestine is being made to carry the whiff of bigotry or even incitement to violence.

EXERPT: last week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) teamed up with the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law to send a letter to nearly two hundred colleges and universities, warning them that the pro-Palestinian organization Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) had “escalated significantly” its anti-Israel “rhetoric and activity,” and demanding that they open investigations into chapters on their campuses. The ADL wanted the chapters scrutinized over their funding, possible violations of school codes of conduct and state and federal laws, and, most seriously, whether they might be materially supporting terrorists, a charge that can bring a maximum sentence of between ten and fifteen years of prison, or even a life sentence in certain circumstances.

The demand from one of the country’s most influential pro-Israel organizations to have pro-Palestinian student groups prosecuted under a federal anti-terrorism statute is alarming. But it’s only a dramatic escalation in a rising wave of political repression aimed at pro-Palestinian voices and those critical of Israeli policy ever since the brutal Hamas attacks on October 7. 

 “The backlash we’re seeing against people in the US speaking out for Palestinian liberation has become a new McCarthyism,” says Dylan Saba, staff attorney at Palestine Legal.

 Link: Anti-Palestine Censorship  

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ARTICLE BY CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: The Official Story of Oct 7 

If you question any part of it, you’re an evil an-Semite who loves terrorism and wishes Hitler had won. You should be censored, fired, kicked off campus and disappeared from polite society.

Link: Commentary

Market Research

Quantum Technology 

Market Research Report 2023

 

DUBLIN -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- (May 30, 2023) -- The "Quantum Technology Market by Computing, Communications, Imaging, Security, Sensing, Modeling and Simulation 2023 - 2028" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the quantum technology market. It assesses companies/organizations focused on quantum technology including R&D efforts and potential gaming-changing quantum tech-enabled solutions.

The report evaluates the impact of quantum technology upon other major technologies and solution areas including, Edge Computing, Blockchain, IoT, and Big Data Analytics. The report provides an analysis of quantum technology investment, R&D, and prototyping by region and within each major country globally.

The report also provides global and regional forecasts as well as the outlook for quantum technology's impact on embedded hardware, software, applications, and services from 2023 to 2028. The report provides conclusions and recommendations for a wide range of industries and commercial beneficiaries including semiconductor companies, communications providers, high-speed computing companies, artificial intelligence vendors, and more.

Much more than only computing, the quantum technology market provides a foundation for improving all digital communications, applications, content, and commerce. In the realm of communications, quantum technology will influence everything from encryption to the way that signals are passed from point A to point B. While currently in the R&D phase, networked quantum information and communications technology(ICT) is anticipated to become a commercial reality that will represent nothing less than a revolution for virtually every aspect of ICT.

However, there will be a need to integrate the ICT supply chain with quantum technologies in a manner that does not attempt to replace every aspect of classical computing but instead leverages a hybrid computational framework. Traditional high-performance computing will continue to be used for many existing problems for the foreseeable future, while quantum technologies will be used for encrypting communications, signalling, and will be the underlying basis in the future for all commerce transactions. This does not mean that quantum encryption will replace blockchain, but rather provide improved encryption for blockchain technology.

Quantum Technology Market Beyond Computing

The quantum technology market will be a substantial enabler of dramatically improved sensing and instrumentation. For example, gravity sensors may be made significantly more precise through quantum sensing. Quantum electromagnetic sensing provides the ability to detect minute differences in the electromagnetic field.

This will provide a wide-ranging number of applications, such as within the healthcare arena wherein quantum electromagnetic sensing will provide the ability to provide significantly improved mapping of vital organs. Quantum sensing will also have applications across a wide range of other industries such as transportation wherein there is the potential for substantially improved safety, especially for self-driving vehicles.

Quantum sensing and imaging go hand-in-hand as the former supports the latter and vice versa. Quantum sensing may be used to produce images that reveal information heretofore unobtainable. Conversely, quantum image processing may be used to dramatically improve microscopy, pattern recognition, and segmentation in images. Quantum processes enable detection of image details that would otherwise go unnoticed within the current constraints of background effects/illumination, low light levels, and wavelength limitations.

Commercial applications for the quantum imaging market are potentially wide-ranging including exploration, monitoring, and safety. For example, gas image processing may detect minute changes that could lead to early detection of tank failure or the presence of toxic chemicals. In concert with quantum sensing, quantum imaging may also help with various public safety-related applications such as search and rescue. Some problems are too difficult to calculate but can be simulated and modelled.

Quantum simulations and modelling is an area that involves the use of quantum technology to enable simulators that can model complex systems that are beyond the capabilities of classical. Even the fastest supercomputers today cannot adequately model many problems such as those found in atomic physics, condensed-matter physics, and high-energy physics.

To accomplish this goal, quantum simulators create a more controllable quantum environment to simulate what is actually occurring in nature within a real-world, uncontrollable, inaccessible quantum environment. Quantum simulation and modelling can lead to a variety of practical commercial benefits such as the design of improved computing systems, development of new materials, and predictive analytics for large interdependent systems such as a smart city ecosystem.

Sovereign governments are extremely interested in the quantum technology market and the interest goes way beyond the pride of being the first to be able to claim quantum supremacy for developing a quantum computer that can beat the best classical computer. Governments are interested in quantum technology because of the many military/defense and overall security implications. For example, quantum computing can render all existing encryption useless and exposed to hacking and infiltration.

This means that all financial transactions and state secrets are potentially at risk with quantum computing. Conversely, quantum computing-enabled encryption will be completely unbreakable. In another example, quantum sensing and imaging may be used to detect the presence of aircraft (even stealth fighters).

Advanced Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems equipped with quantum imaging processes may identify the presence of aircraft based on minute changes in the environment. Conversely, quantum-equipped planes may similarly foil quantum LIDAR detection systems, protecting themselves by projecting images that simulate a normal ambient environment.

Quantum Technology Developments

Some of the latest developments in the quantum technology market include:

  • IBM: CONDOR, THE world's first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The company is also planning to launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025. Important to note is that other quantum computers with more qubits exist, but Condor will be the world's largest general-purpose quantum processor.

  • Microsoft: DARPA has selected Microsoft as a partner to explore scaled quantum computing in support of DARPA's broader quantum strategies. "Experts disagree on whether a utility-scale quantum computer based on conventional designs is still decades away or could be achieved much sooner," said Joe Altepeter, US2QC program manager in DARPA'sDefense Sciences Office.

  • QCI: A subsidiary has been formed with the intention to take QCI's technology products to the Department of Defense and other government agencies. The organization's solutions will offer quantum platforms designed for supply chain management, advanced manufacturing, workforce development and research and development applications.

  • Xanadu: During Q4 2022, the company announced that it closed a $100 million USD Series C round that brought its valuation to $1 billion USD. The company's valuation approximately tripled over the course of the last review period, due largely to its cloud-deployed-photonic quantum computer as well as its leadership in the development of an open-source software library for quantum computing, along with its established partnerships with global enterprises.

Select Report Findings:

  • Overall global quantum technology market will reach $53.2 billion by 2028

  • Quantum computing will lead the market at $17.6 billion by 2028 and 41.2% CAGR

  • North America will be the biggest regional market for quantum technologies overall

  • China will lead the APAC quantum technology market at $6.31 billion by 2028 with 39.1%CAGR

  • Germany will lead the European quantum technology market at $3.9 billion by 2028 with 30.6%CAGR

  • The global quantum dots market will reach $14.9 billion by 2028, growing a 33.7%CAGR and led by displays

  • The quantum sensing market will reach $1.1 billion globally by 2028, nearly twice the size of the quantum imaging market

  • The quantum magnetometer market will reach $998 million globally by 2028, led by superconducting quantum interference devices

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/715jh6

Extremism in America

Hatewatch Releases Analysis 

of the Alex Jones Texts

    WASHINGTON — (SPLC) - 2/15/2023A new series of investigative reporting released this month by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) Hatewatch offers a glimpse into the life of extremist entrepreneur Alex Jones and the destructive business he operates of selling bigotry and disinformation to people in America. 

    “Alex Jones portrays himself as someone who has all the answers. His text messages show him to be someone completely different. He's lost. He's completely paranoid. He goes to great lengths to try and control others as the walls close in on him,” said SPLC Senior Investigative Reporter Michael Edison Hayden, who co-authored the report. “We have produced a lot of investigative reporting over the years, but I don't recall coming across any source material that better shows how dark it is inside the radical right movement than Alex Jones' texts. I expect we will be referring back to these texts for many years to come.” 

    Read the introduction and Part 1 of the series here. Parts 2-5 will be released over the next two weeks and include the following exclusive reporting: 

  • Part 2: How close Alex Jones is to the neofascist Proud Boys and how he helped make them a national menace. 

  • Part 3: How much the Infowars host relied on Joe Rogan to amplify his platform and how he tried to get Rogan to elevate accused sex trafficker Andrew Tate.   

  • Part 4: How an Infowars employee warned Alex Jones against collaborating with Nick Fuentes, citing his antisemitism and suggesting he works with the FBI. 

  • Part 5: How Alex Jones slaps 900 percent markups on his products and uses an array of techniques to keep money flowing into the Infowars store. 

    SPLC’s Hatewatch obtained a first look at more than 22,000 text messages, which include more than 200 threads exchanged by Alex Jones and his contacts between August 19, 2019, and May 15, 2020. 

Economic Policy

 Leaders Discuss Implementation

of Biden's Economic 

and Climate Legislation

    Washington, D.C. — (CAP) -- 2/12/2023 - Governors and mayors from across the country joined the Center for American Progress and the Center for Innovative Policy for a summit on Feb. 8 to discuss the economic progress they are making after passage of the Biden administration’s historic economic and climate change legislation.

    The officials outlined how these measures are helping their communities transform to support new jobs and clean energy in the months and years to come.

    Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said President Joe Biden’s vision has translated directly into job growth in his state and around the country.

    “We’re talking about a job growth in two years that we have not seen a president accomplish in four,” Moore said. “That’s facts, that’s numbers—that when we’re talking about brand-new record investments in infrastructure, that’s not just hyperbole. I can tell you as the chief executive of the state of Maryland, that’s real because we’ve been there, we’re putting that capital to work in the state of Maryland.”

    Moore added: “The president is moving full force into not just a reminder to this country of what’s been accomplished over these past few years, but moving full force and helping people understand that we’ve still got work to do. And we’ve got to move in partnership in order to make this happen.”

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) discussed how he had just signed into law a measure calling for 100 percent clean energy in the state by 2040. That legislation had both labor and utility companies in the state on board.

    “If we’re going to move to this clean energy economy, Minnesota wants to be there, to be the place where we manufacture, the place where we do the innovation, the place where we implement that,” Walz said. “We can’t be aggressive enough on this because, again, the competition is already global to a point where we’re losing our competitive advantage, especially in those spaces. Minnesota wants to lead in that.”

    Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) discussed his state’s investments in clean energy jobs and how that will bolster the economy while mitigating climate change. He said the state would transition to 80 percent renewable energy by the end of 2029 and wants to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2040.

    “We want to be in the forefront of not only making sure that electric vehicles can access our market but also that we have the charging and infrastructure in place to make them a success and that we are able to promote affordability though tax credits and other mechanisms,” Polis said.

    Polis said he views the transition to clean energy as a change to end the state’s reliance on costly natural gas so that consumers see energy savings. And he stressed the importance of a “just transition” that would help workers from coal power plants, mining, and other legacy fuels get retraining for new jobs.

    “The jobs are different, and the skills are different,” he said. “We need to make sure that we bring people along and that we can square people’s livelihoods in the clean energy future.”

    New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) credited the Biden administration with helping to create 536,000 new jobs in her state over the past 1 1/2 years. That includes about 50,000 new manufacturing jobs in upstate New York due to passage of the CHIPS and Science Act.

    “The jobs are starting to come back from the money that we’ve been using from the federal dollars to create those jobs,” she said.

    Hochul added: “We’ve been absolutely joined at the hips with our federal partners, President Biden, our leadership, to bring the infrastructure spending, the climate money, the child care money, and money to build resiliency because of climate change,” she said. “All of it is being spent in New York state very happily by this governor.”

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said he sees the Biden administration’s economic legislation and the funding it provides as an opportunity for generational change.

    “I am so excited about the investments that we’re going to be able to make,” he said. “We’re going to be laying the groundwork with these generational funds to make sure that we’re building a North Carolina, particularly based on advanced manufacturing, that’s going to provide great-paying jobs.”

    Cooper praised the Biden administration’s legislation for, among other things, capping drug prices, investing in child care so parents can get back into the workforce, and providing money to connect high-speed internet across North Carolina.

    He also praised climate change legislation that will help create jobs in the private sector to build electric vehicles, charging stations, and other infrastructure.

    “We’re so excited about the Inflation Reduction Act because it helps us to fund our EV infrastructure and to coax people into getting electric vehicles,” he said.

    Richmond, Va., Mayor Levar Stoney (D) said his top priorities are dealing with his city’s housing crisis, improving public safety, and helping better the lives of children and families. He praised the American Rescue Plan Act for helping steer federal funds directly to cities, so local leaders can target money to areas where it’s needed most.

    “It gives us the flexibility to innovate and be creative because at the end of the day, it’s cities and mayors who are the front lines,” he said. “I’m grateful that we were able to get that function into the American Rescue Plan Act, and moving forward, it’s my hope that they take a page out of President Biden’s book and empower local governments to make these decisions.”

    Stoney said about half of the $155 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act is being used to build new community centers in Black neighborhoods and other communities of color that were historically redlined. Other funds were used to create more than 250 new seats for early childhood education and preschool for the city’s children as well as exploring how to re-connect the historically Black neighborhood of Jackson Ward, that was literally split in half by I-95, to help revitalize the area.

    “This is the largest investment in local government since the Great Society, and I think we’re going to see great results and accomplishments for years and years to come,” Stoney said.

    Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said her city’s biggest economic challenge post-COVID-19 is revitalizing local businesses, closing wealth gaps, and attracting more residents to the city. The economic legislation that President Biden’s administration has steered through Congress is providing a major lift for her and other city leaders to address those issues.

    “I think the president deserves a lot of credit,” she said.

    She said she also urged the administration to think about how to make it easier for cities to spend federal funds.

    “It’s great to have a lot of money,” she said. “What’s not great is not being able to spend it. As we think about policies that help us get policies out the door, we should also think about innovative procurement policy as well.”

    Bowser also praised federal funding for projects that will improve neighborhood walkability, safety, and affordable transportation access.

“These dollars will help us advance planned work on making intersections more safe,” she said.

Click here to watch the event.

Church and State

Denial of Care Rule Called

'Dangerous Policy'

Group Applauds Biden Admin. for Plan to Rescind Parts of Rule

    Washington D.C. - (AU) - 12/29/2022 - Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement on Dec. 29 in response to the Biden administration’s proposal to rescind parts of the Trump administration’s Denial of Care Rule, which invited health care workers to deny medical treatment and services to patients because of personal religious or moral beliefs:

    “We applaud the Biden administration for taking positive steps toward protecting both religious freedom and patients’ health by rescinding the Trump-era Denial of Care Rule. No one should be denied medical treatment because of someone else’s religious beliefs.

    “The Denial of Care Rule was a dangerous policy that weaponized religious freedom and put the health and lives of women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities and so many others in jeopardy. Today’s proposed rule recognizes the potential harm to patients and upholds the fundamental principle of church-state separation.”

    The Denial of Care Rule which was issued in May 2019 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under former President Donald Trump. It invited any health care worker to deny medical care to patients because of the health care worker’s personal religious or moral beliefs. Health care facilities risked losing essential federal funding unless they granted employees carte blanche to deny services. That risk could have forced many health care facilities to eliminate services such as reproductive and LGBTQ care. Federal courts had blocked the rule from going into effect.

 Americans United and allies filed two federal lawsuits challenging the Denial of Care Rule, arguing that HHS during the Trump administration exceeded its authority and arbitrarily and capriciously failed to consider the rule’s potential harm to patients and the health care system, in violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act. We also argued that the rule was unconstitutional because it favored specific religious beliefs in violation of the First Amendment; violated patients’ rights to privacy, liberty and equal dignity as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment; and chilled patients’ speech and expression in violation of the First Amendment, all to the detriment of patients’ health and well-being.

  • In the County of Santa Clara v. HHS, Americans United joined the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lambda Legal, the law firm Mayer Brown LLP and Santa Clara County, Calif., which runs an extensive public health and hospital system that serves as a safety-net provider for the county’s 1.9 million Bay Area residents. Other plaintiffs in the case include providers across the country that focus on reproductive and LGBTQ care, plus five doctors and three medical associations. In Nov. 2019, the district court granted summary judgment in our favor on our Administrative Procedure Act claims, vacating the rule in its entirety.
  • In Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Azar, Americans United joined the Baltimore City Solicitor and the law firm Susman Godfrey LLP to represent the Baltimore City Health Department, which has strived to ensure that vulnerable and historically marginalized people can seek medical care without fear of stigmatization or discrimination. After other federal district courts blocked the Denial of Care Rule, the district court held this case in abeyance pending the government’s appeals.

    More information about those lawsuits is available here.